This past week has been rough. The young singer gunned down in cold blood, the horrific mass shooting, the little boy dragged off by an alligator, it was just one nightmare report after another. Add in all the hate filled rhetoric on the news and on social media and I felt like I was at the breaking point. I was unfocused, had difficulty sleeping and started to obsess over the future of our country and the future leaders of it.
When I get really stressed the one thing that calms and soothes me is getting to the ocean. Nothing fills me with peace, love and joy more than the water. I love the mountains too but the ocean is my deepest love.
The timing therefore could not be better because next week I will be staying on the coast in northern Maine immersed in a week long photography class at the Maine Media Workshop. I had originally taken a photography class there 34 years ago this Summer. I think it was either the first or second year they were open and it was one of the highlights of my photography schooling. I studied with a very famous (at the time) fashion photographer. I remember being absolutely star struck because he worked for Vogue and other top fashion magazines and was friends with all the super models of the day. I was young, impressionable and thought he was the coolest guy on the planet. I mimicked everything he did and wanted my photos to look just like his.
Sunday I return 34 years later a completely different person. I am not looking to copy another Photographer’s style. Instead I plan to dig deep and discover (or rediscover) the artist in me. The pretty photos that I post on Facebook and Instagram are fine but I want to express myself deeper.
Back in the 80’s when I was in photography school I had a teacher who was passionate that his students never photograph flowers, sunsets, puppies, or any image that he deemed “pretty”. God forbid if you did, because in front of the entire class he would dramatically rip up your photos and dump all your hard work onto the floor. He would bellow “any idiot with a camera can shoot a pretty picture. An amateur “takes a photo” and a professional “makes” a photo. I was so brain washed (and traumatized) by him that to this day I can’t shoot a sunset or a flower without hearing him shouting his outrage in my mind.
So next week I am going to spend a week “making photos”. I am also checking out of all social media. I need to clear my head, take a break from the upsetting news and just enjoy being with other like minded art loving individuals. I will continue to post “pretty” pictures (northern Maine is seriously beautiful) but you may also start to see something different…stay tuned!
Have a wonderful week everyone and I will reconnect in a week or so.